Serendipity. The source of many of life’s most unexpectedly joyful experiences. Thing is, you can never pursue it directly. But on the audio front you can stack the odds in your favor and increase the chance for a happy accident if you’re running a copy of Roon and your favorite streaming service. Clicking through various links on production, genres, accompanists and the like will lead you to the unexpected.

Every now and then I’ll try to highlight music I’ve personally just been introduced to while taking a #drinkfromthestream. These may be cuts that everyone knows and are just new to me or (hopefully and potentially more interestingly) are on the less well known side and could bring some audio joy to others.

Tonight’s journey: An alert that Bill Frisell is performing a four day residency at Freight and Salvage in Berkeley > Frisell Discography > his version of Heard It Through The Grapevine (so good btw) > Various Appearances of Mr. Frisell > Frisell’s work on Gianmaria Testa’s da questa parte del mare.

Despite having a last name jammed full of vowels I’ve never had the pleasure of having heard of Signore Testa, nor do I speak the mother tongue (sadly). None of that mattered however when I hit play and his gravelly voice emerged with enormous presence over a spare soundtrack of Frisell’s guitar. Beautifully recorded in 2006 the album touches on problems that are still plaguing us all a decade later. It’s an interesting experience to listen without understanding and allowed me to focus more on the music and song structure. Worth a listen if the idea of an Italian Leonard Cohen might be your cup of grappa.

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